Jeff Wiggill

Johannesburg - The High Court in Johannesburg has ordered insurer Discovery to pay R11.5 million to murdered businessman Jeff Wiggill's partner, the Business Times reported on Sunday.

Discovery had been embroiled in a legal battle with Wiggill's partner of nine years, Alexander Klencovljevic based on two life insurance policies of which he was the main beneficiary.

He lodged a claim two weeks after the murder, on June 19 last year.

Discovery refused to pay, claiming it was awaiting the outcome of several probes after his death. Wiggill had R18m in the two policies, with the rest going to his brother and sister.

Wiggill, the chairman of engineering conglomerate First Tech, was found shot, execution-style, next to his Bentley in Soweto.

Two days later, his company collapsed under debt of R4 billion, taking 7000 jobs with it and triggering the biggest corporate bond default in South Africa until then.

Banks Investec, Nedbank, and Standard Bank sank R925m of investor cash into the bond.

This was followed by speculation that Wiggill, who had forged numerous documents to dupe the banks, either arranged his own “assisted suicide” or faked his death.

On Tuesday, the court dismissed Discovery's argument that it should not pay. The insurer was given a week to do so.

Klencovljevic argued he had been struggling to maintain his lavish lifestyle he and the couple's five children were used to. - Sapa